The governor of this state is hereby authorized and directed to execute a compact on behalf of the state of West Virginia with any state or states of the United States legally joining therein in form substantially as follows:
INTERSTATE COMPACT ON MENTAL HEALTH
The contracting states solemnly agree that:
The party states find that the proper and expeditious treatment of the mentally ill and mentally deficient can be facilitated by cooperative action, to the benefit of the patients, their families, and society as a whole. Further, the party states find that the necessity of and desirability for furnishing such care and treatment bears no primary relation to the residence or citizenship of the patient but that, on the contrary, the controlling factors of community safety and humanitarianism require that facilities and services be made available for all who are in need of them. Consequently, it is the purpose of this compact and of the party states to provide the necessary legal basis for the institutionalization or other appropriate care and treatment of the mentally ill and mentally deficient under a system that recognizes the paramount importance of patient welfare and to establish the responsibilities of the party states in terms of such welfare.
As used in this compact:
(a) "Sending state" shall mean a party state from which a patient is transported pursuant to the provisions of the compact or from which it is contemplated that a patient may be so sent.
(b) "Receiving state" shall mean a party state to which a patient is transported pursuant to the provisions of the compact or to which it is contemplated that a patient may be so sent.
(c) "Institution" shall mean any hospital or other facility maintained by a party state or political subdivision thereof for the care and treatment of mental illness or mental deficiency.
(d) "Patient" shall mean any person subject to or eligible as determined by the laws of the sending state, for institutionalization or other care, treatment, or supervision pursuant to the provisions of this compact.
(e) "Aftercare" shall mean care, treatment and services provided a patient, as defined herein, on convalescent status or conditional release.
(f) "Mental illness" shall mean mental disease to such extent that a person so afflicted requires care and treatment for his own welfare, or the welfare of others, or of the community.
(g) "Mental deficiency" shall mean mental deficiency as defined by appropriate clinical authority to such extent that a person so afflicted is incapable of managing himself and his affairs, but shall not include mental illness as defined herein.
(h) "State" shall mean any state, territory or possession of the United States, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
(a) Whenever a person physically present in any party state shall be in need of institutionalization by reason of mental illness or mental deficiency, he shall be eligible for care and treatment in an institution in that state irrespective of his residence, settlement or citizenship qualifications.
(b) The provisions of paragraph (a) of this article to the contrary notwithstanding, any patient may be transferred to an institution in another state whenever there are factors based upon clinical determinations indicating that the care and treatment of said patient would be facilitated or improved thereby. Any such institutionalization may be for the entire period of care and treatment or for any portion or portions thereof. The factors referred to in this paragraph shall include the patient's full record with due regard for the location of the patient's family, character of the illness and probable duration thereof, and such other factors as shall be considered appropriate.
(c) No state shall be obliged to receive any patient pursuantto the provisions of paragraph (b) of this article unless the sending state has given advance notice of its intention to send the patient; furnished all available medical and other pertinent records concerning the patient; given the qualified medical or other appropriate clinical authorities of the receiving state an opportunity to examine the patient if said authorities so wish; and unless the receiving state shall agree to accept the patient.
(d) In the event that the laws of the receiving state establish a system of priorities for the admission of patients, an interstate patient under this compact shall receive the same priority as a local patient and shall be taken in the same order and at the same time that he would be taken if he were a local patient.
(e) Pursuant to this compact, the determination as to the suitable place of institutionalization for a patient may be reviewed at any time and such further transfer of the patient may be made as seems likely to be in the best interest of the patient.
(a) Whenever, pursuant to the laws of the state in which a patient is physically present, it shall be determined that the patient should receive aftercare or supervision, such care or supervision may be provided in a receiving state. If the medical or other appropriate clinical authorities having responsibility for the care and treatment of the patient in the sending state shall have reason to believe that aftercare in another state would be in the best interest of the patient and would not jeopardize the public safety, they shall request the appropriate authorities in the receiving state to investigate the desirability of affording the patient such aftercare in said receiving state, and such investigation shall be made with all reasonable speed. The request for investigation shall be accompanied by complete information concerning the patient's intended place of residence and the identity of the person in whose charge it is proposed to place the patient, the complete medical history of the patient, and such other documents as may be pertinent.
(b) If the medical or other appropriate clinical authorities having responsibility for the care and treatment of the patient in the sending state and the appropriate authorities in the receiving state find that the best interest of the patient would be served thereby, and if the public safety would not be jeopardized thereby, the patient may receive aftercare or supervision in the receiving state.
(c) In supervising, treating, or caring for a patient on aftercare pursuant to the terms of this article, a receiving state shall employ the same standards of visitation, examination, care, and treatment that it employs for similar local patients.
Whenever a dangerous or potentially dangerous patient escapes from an institution in any party state, that state shall promptly notify all appropriate authorities within and without the jurisdiction of the escape in a manner reasonably calculated to facilitate the speedy apprehension of the escapee. Immediately upon the apprehension and identification of any such dangerous or potentially dangerous patient, he shall be detained in the state where found pending disposition in accordance with law.
The duly accredited officers of any state party to this compact, upon the establishment of their authority and the identity of the patient, shall be permitted to transport any patient being moved pursuant to this compact through any and all states party to this compact, without interference.
(a) No person shall be deemed a patient of more than one institution at any given time. Completion of transfer of any patient to an institution in a receiving state shall have the effect of making the person a patient of the institution in the receiving state.
(b) The sending state shall pay all costs of an incidental to the transportation of any patient pursuant to this compact, but any two or more party states may, by making a specific agreement forthat purpose, arrange for a different allocation of costs as among themselves.
(c) No provision of this compact shall be construed to alter or affect any internal relationships among the departments, agencies and officers of and in the government of a party state, or between a party state and its subdivisions, as to the payment of costs, or responsibilities therefor.
(d) Nothing in this compact shall be construed to prevent any party state or subdivision thereof from asserting any right against any person, agency or other entity in regard to costs for which such party state or subdivision thereof may be responsible pursuant to any provision of this compact.
(e) Nothing in this compact shall be construed to invalidate any reciprocal agreement between a party state and a nonparty state relating to institutionalization, care or treatment of the mentally ill or mentally deficient, or any statutory authority pursuant to which such agreements may be made.
(a) Nothing in this compact shall be construed to abridge, diminish, or in any way impair the rights, duties, and responsibilities of any patient's guardian on his own behalf or in respect of any patient for whom he may serve, except that where the transfer of any patient to another jurisdiction makes advisable the appointment of a supplemental or substitute guardian, any court of competent jurisdiction in the receiving state may make such supplemental or substitute appointment and the court which appointed the previous guardian shall upon being duly advised of the new appointment, and upon the satisfactory completion of such accounting and other acts as such court may by law require, relieve the previous guardian of power and responsibility to whatever extent shall be appropriate in the circumstances: Provided, however, That in the case of any patient having settlement in the sending state, the court of competent jurisdiction in the sending state shall have the sole discretion to relieve a guardian appointed by it or continue his power and responsibility, whichever it shall deem advisable. The court in the receiving state may, in its discretion, confirm or reappoint the person or persons previously serving as guardian in the sending state in lieu of making a supplemental or substitute appointment.
(b) The term "guardian" as used in paragraph (a) of this article shall include any guardian, trustee, legal committee, conservator, or other person or agency however denominated who is charged by law with power to act for or responsibility for the person or property of a patient.
(a) No provision of this compact except article V shall apply to any person institutionalized while under sentence in a penal or correctional institution or while subject to trial on a criminal charge, or whose institutionalization is due to the commission of an offense for which, in the absence of mental illness or mental deficiency, said person would be subject to incarceration in a penal or correctional institution.
(b) To every extent possible, it shall be the policy of states party to this compact that no patient shall be placed or detained in any prison, jail or lockup, but such patient shall, with all expedition, be taken to a suitable institutional facility for mental illness or mental deficiency.
(a) Each party state shall appoint a "compact administrator" who, on behalf of his state, shall act as general coordinator of activities under the compact in his state and who shall receive copies of all reports, correspondence, and other documents relating to any patient processed under the compact by his state either in the capacity of sending or receiving state. The compact administrator or his duly designated representative shall be the official with whom other party states shall deal in any matter relating to the compact or any patient processed thereunder.
(b) The compact administrators of the respective party states shall have power to promulgate reasonable rules and regulations tocarry out more effectively the terms and provisions of this compact.
The duly constituted administrative authorities of any two or more party states may enter into supplementary agreements for the provision of any service or facility or for the maintenance of any institution on a joint or cooperative basis whenever the states concerned shall find that such agreements will improve services, facilities, or institutional care and treatment in the fields of mental illness or mental deficiency. No such supplementary agreement shall be construed so as to relieve any party state of any obligation which it otherwise would have under other provisions of this compact.
This compact shall enter into full force and effect as to any state when enacted by it into law, and such state shall thereafter be a party thereto with any and all states legally joining therein.
(a) A state party to this compact may withdraw therefrom by enacting a statute repealing the same. Such withdrawal shall take effect one year after notice thereof has been communicated officially and in writing to the governors and compact administrators of all other party states. However, the withdrawal of any state shall not change the status of any patient who has been sent to said state or sent out of said state pursuant to the provisions of the compact.
(b) Withdrawal from any agreement permitted by article VII (b) as to costs or from any supplementary agreement made pursuant to article XI shall be in accordance with the terms of such agreement.
This compact shall be liberally construed so as to effectuate the purposes thereof. The provisions of this compact shall be severable and if any phrase, clause, sentence or provision of this compact is declared to be contrary to the constitution of any party state or of the United States or the applicability thereof to any government, agency, person or circumstance is held invalid, the validity of the remainder of this compact and the applicability thereof to any government, agency, person or circumstance shall not be affected thereby. If this compact shall be held contrary to the constitution of any state party thereto, the compact shall remain in full force and effect as to the remaining states and in full force and effect as to the state affected as to all severable matters.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2014 1st Special Session
The WV Code Online is an unofficial copy of the annotated WV Code, provided as a convenience. It has NOT been edited for publication, and is not in any way official or authoritative.